Is Michael Phelps the best choice for flag bearer, or should Ibtihaj Muhammad have been chosen? | The Tylt
Michael Phelps was voted by athletes to be the flag bearer at the opening ceremony in Rio. But is he the best choice?
Some are saying that fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad should have been picked instead. They argue that the flag bearer “is an opportunity to say, ‘This is who we are.’”
Everyone around the world knows Phelps is who we are. But not everyone knows the stories of some of the other candidates, and why they are so meaningful. Not everyone knows the story of Ibtihaj Muhammad.
Muhammad, raised by a police officer and a teacher, is a fencer who went to Duke, where she got degrees in African and African-American Studies and International Relations. She is also a devout Muslim. She will become the first American Olympian woman to compete in a hijab.
But though some would have liked to see a Muslim woman of color selected, Phelps is the winningest athlete, ever. It’s not hard to make a case for him as well: with eighteen gold medals to his name, Phelps is perhaps America's most iconic athlete. It makes sense for him to lead Team USA into Rio.
What do you think?
Is Michael Phelps the best choice for flag bearer, or should Ibtihaj Muhammad have been chosen?